Dallas Cowboys Rumors & News

NFLPA Announces Cap Carryover Amounts

The NFL Players Association has announced all 32 teams’ salary cap carryover amounts for the 2017 season (Twitter link). Next season’s cap figure isn’t yet known, but it’s likely to be in the $165MM range. When that becomes official, it can be added to each team’s carryover amount to determine that club’s official spending room for 2017.

Here are this year’s carryover totals:

  1. Cleveland Browns: $50,123,269
  2. Jacksonville Jaguars: $39,314,310
  3. San Francisco 49ers: $38,708,916
  4. Tennessee Titans: $24,046,522
  5. Washington Redskins: $15,055,131
  6. Carolina Panthers: $13,208,020
  7. Miami Dolphins: $8,363,708
  8. Chicago Bears: $8,103,197
  9. Oakland Raiders: $8,000,000
  10. Green Bay Packers: $7,984,687
  11. Philadelphia Eagles: $7,933,869
  12. Denver Broncos: $7,243,248
  13. Indianapolis Colts: $6,614,106
  14. Cincinnati Bengals: $6,578,866
  15. New Orleans Saints: $5,754,000
  16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $5,330,779
  17. New England Patriots: $5,292,335
  18. Kansas City Chiefs: $5,002,168
  19. Houston Texans: $4,935,924
  20. Detroit Lions: $4,725,644
  21. Arizona Cardinals: $4,405,068
  22. Pittsburgh Steelers: $3,269,367
  23. Buffalo Bills: $2,837,222
  24. Baltimore Ravens: $2,553,126
  25. Dallas Cowboys: $2,401,553
  26. Seattle Seahawks: $2,065,865
  27. New York Giants: $1,800,000
  28. Atlanta Falcons: $926,541
  29. Minnesota Vikings: $400,184
  30. New York Jets: $371,487
  31. Los Angeles Rams: $304,311
  32. Los Angeles Chargers: $113,693

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/17/17

Today’s minor moves:

Promotion

Atlanta Falcons

Practice Squad

Green Bay Packers

Reserve/Futures Contracts

Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Cowboys

  • TE Rico Gathers
  • WR Andy Jones

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

  • WR Rashad Lawrence

2017 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.Donte Moncrief (Vertical)

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $1.8MM in 2017. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2017 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

49ers: Aaron Lynch, LB; Marcus Martin, OL

Bears: Charles Leno, T; Will Sutton, DT

Bengals: Russell Bodine, C

Bills: Preston Brown, LB; Seantrel Henderson, T

Broncos: Michael Schofield, OL

Browns: Christian Kirksey, LB

Buccaneers: Kevin Pamphile, G

Cardinals: John Brown, WR

Chiefs: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, G; Zach Fulton, G; Phillip Gaines, CB

Colts: Donte Moncrief, WR

Cowboys: Anthony Hitchens, LB

Falcons: Devonta Freeman, RB

Giants: Devon Kennard, LB

Jaguars: Aaron Colvin, CB; Brandon Linder, G; Telvin Smith, LB

Lions: Nevin Lawson, CB; Travis Swanson, C

Packers: Corey Linsley, C; Richard Rodgers, TE

Panthers: Tre Boston, S; Trai Turner, G

Raiders: T.J. Carrie, CB; Justin Ellis, DT; Gabe Jackson, G

Rams: Maurice Alexander, S; E.J. Gaines, CB

Redskins: Bashaud Breeland, CB; Spencer Long, G; Morgan Moses, T

Texans: C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE; Andre Hal, S

Titans: DaQuan Jones, DL; Avery Williamson, LB

Vikings: Shamar Stephen, DT

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Notes: Romo, Elliott

Quarterback Tony Romo could ask for his release this offseason, and the Cowboys should grant it, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. If that were to happen, Romo would be able to pick his next employer (perhaps Denver) and negotiate a good deal for himself, and that team wouldn’t weaken itself by giving up a draft pick(s) for the soon-to-be 37-year-old. On the other hand, Florio notes that the Cowboys have the right to seek compensation for Romo via trade, though he points out that the club could otherwise designate Dak Prescott‘s backup as a post-June 1 cut and save $14MM in cap space in 2017.

Speaking on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wasn’t willing to elaborate on what he’ll do with Romo in the coming months. “We’ve got a lot to think about here, but that’s in the future,” he said (via Todd Archer of ESPN.com). Jones did opine, though, that Romo has enough left in the tank to lead a team to a Super Bowl.

  • Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is unhappy with the pace of the NFL’s investigation into domestic abuse claims against him, he said after the team’s divisional-round loss to Green Bay on Sunday. “I do want closure,” Elliott told reporters, including Archer. “I would rather it not drag on this long. If there was something to find, which there’s not, they would’ve found it by now. The police did a very thorough investigation. I will tell you this — it just seems like they’re dragging their feet right now. Who knows, man? I’m just ready for it to end.” The league has been investigating Elliott since July, and it reportedly regarded him as “Public Enemy No. 1” as of November. That didn’t seem to affect Elliott on the field, as the rookie easily led the league in ground yards (1,631) and finished third in rushing touchdowns (15).

Cowboys Unlikely To Re-Sign Ronald Leary

Guard Ronald Leary sought a trade out of Dallas last offseason because he was poised to serve as a backup in 2016. The Cowboys weren’t willing to oblige, which ended up being a plus for both them and Leary. After starting left guard La’el Collins went on injured reserve in late September, Leary took his place and thrived as part of an elite offensive line. The timing was great for Leary, who’s scheduled to hit the open market in March.

Ronald Leary

While Leary is open to staying in Dallas, the 27-year-old realizes Collins’ return to health will likely prevent that, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“Going into the season I didn’t think I was going to be playing at all,” Leary said Monday. “As far as free agency, that’s one thing I’m just going to let it play itself out, see how things work out and talk with my agent and see how things go from there.”

Leary, who entered the NFL in 2012 as an undrafted free agent from Memphis, has spent his entire career with the Cowboys. He started in 35 straight appearances over his first three seasons, but he dealt with a groin injury in 2015 and Collins usurped his No. 1 role. With Collins on the shelf for most of this season, Leary made 12 starts in 13 games and ranked an impressive 25th in overall performance among Pro Football Focus’ 76 qualified guards.

Given that the Cowboys have Collins and standout Zack Martin in the fold at guard, their 34-31 divisional-round loss to the Packers on Sunday stands to go down as Leary’s last outing with the club. Evidenced by the four-year, $29MM extension Jets guard Brian Winters landed Monday, Leary is on the verge of cashing in someplace. That could be New Orleans, which pushed to acquire him last spring. Regardless of where he signs, Leary’s departure will likely net the Cowboys a compensatory draft pick, which would make their refusal to trade him a year ago look even better.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Working To Sign Rico Gathers, Andy Jones

  • The Cowboys announced the signing of 12 players today, but the team isn’t done making moves. ESPN.com’s Todd Archer tweets that the team is still trying to finalize deals with practice squad players Rico Gathers and Andy Jones. Gathers, a tight end, was a sixth-round pick in this past year’s draft. Jones, a former undrafted free agent, spent much of the season on the Cowboys practice squad.

    [SOURCE LINK]

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/16/17

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2017 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters.

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Jason Witten Plans To Return Next Season

One year remains on Jason Witten‘s contract, and the Cowboys tight end as of now plans on playing it out. The 34-year-old stalwart said he wants to return for the 2017 season.

I’m in my 14th year, and you know there’s a shelf life for everybody,” Witten said, via Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. “You put everything you have into it, and when you come up short it’s tough. It’s not about a paycheck. … I’ll take time to reflect on it. I love this team and this group of guys and so, yeah, that will be the plan for sure.”

The career-long Cowboy finished his 14th season with 69 receptions for 673 yards and three touchdowns, and while he’s fallen off the Pro Bowl and All-Pro pace of his earlier years, Witten finished sixth among tight ends in catches this season despite operating in a run-oriented offense. He added his first playoff touchdown in Sunday’s loss. Witten ranks seventh all-time with 1,089 career receptions — second among tight ends in NFL history.

He stands to make $7.4MM in base salary next season in the final campaign of a five-year, $37MM deal. But the tight end’s cap number spikes from $5.862MM this season to $12.262MM in what would be his 15th season. The future Hall of Famer restructured his deal to help the Cowboys’ cap situation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Brandon Carr Considering Retirement

Following Dallas’ close loss to the Packers in today’s playoff game, Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr told reporters that he will contemplate retirement this offseason, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link). Carr will likely make a decision before that start of free agency in early March.Brandon Carr

[RELATED: Tony Romo Would Prefer To Land With Broncos]

Carr, 30, took a significant paycut last offseason, agreeing to lower his base salary from $9.1MM to $4.25MM. Carr is scheduled to become a free agent this offseason, although his contract contains a voidable 2017 season that will leave $2.717MM on the Cowboys’ salary cap. Dallas, who is currently projected to be more than $5MM over the cap in 2017, has several key free agents in the defensive backfield, as cornerback Morris Claiborne and safety Barry Church will join Carr on the open market.

Carr just finished his fifth season with the Cowboys, and while he’s never missed a game with Dallas (or at any point during his career), he never quite became the No. 1 corner the Cowboys were looking for when they signed him to a five-year, $50.1MM deal prior to the 2012 season. In 2016, Carr played 96% of Dallas’ defensive snaps, posted one interception, and graded as the NFL’s No. 52 cornerback among 114 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Are Tony Romo’s Ideal Landing Spot

Veteran quarterback Tony Romo would like to play for the Broncos next season, but Denver is not expected to pursue a trade for the Cowboys signal-caller, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). Rival executives believe that a Romo trade may be hard to execute, and Dallas could hang on to Romo until a quarterback injury elsewhere in the league forces another club to call.

Aug 25, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) warms up before the start of a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

[RELATED: Latest On Ezekiel Elliott Investigation]

Romo, of course, has not played this season (save for a few reps in a meaningless Week 17 game) after suffering an injury during the preseason, allowing rookie Dak Prescott to run with the Cowboys starting job. Team owner Jerry Jones said in November that he would not deal Romo after the season, but most opposing general managers believe that sentiment was merely posturing. Romo’s value on the trade market is an open question, however, as some executives believe Dallas could garner as much as a second-round pick for its veteran QB, while others see a conditional late-round choice as more plausible.

The Broncos have several options at quarterback as they head into the 2017 offseason, including incumbent starter Trevor Siemian and 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch. Reports have indicated that Siemian could remain under center next season, allowing Lynch another year to develop. However, Denver has since overhauled its offensive coaching staff, so any plans for the 2017 campaign may now be up in the air.

Instead of waiting to be traded, Romo could theoretically ask for his release in order to scour the free agent market for the right fit, a request that Jones could be inclined to honor given Romo’s decorated tenure with the Cowboys. Such a move would present financial gains for Dallas, but would obviously preclude the club from reaping any sort of draft compensation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.